Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

The hotel room at the Yellowhead Inn in Edmonton where Cindy Gladue’s body was found in June 2011 in a police handout photo entered as court evidence.

HO/The Canadian Press

A gynecologist says an excessive and painful amount of force caused a woman to bleed to death in a bathtub at an Edmonton hotel a decade ago.

Dr. Erin Bader, who works at Edmonton’s Royal Alexandra Hospital, was called by Crown prosecutors to provide an expert opinion about the trauma suffered by Cindy Gladue, a 36-year-old Métis and Cree mother who died at the Yellowhead Inn in 2011.

Bradley Barton, a 52-year-old Ontario truck driver, is accused of manslaughter in Ms. Gladue’s death.

Story continues below advertisement

A medical examiner told the jury earlier this week that Ms. Gladue died of blood loss from a wound in her vagina.

Dr. Bader told the jury that an excessive force could have not only caused the 11-centimetre tear in Ms. Gladue’s vaginal wall, but also could have broken a significant blood vessel causing a large blood loss.

“It was not a typical amount of force,” Dr. Bader told court. “It was not even slightly more than typical force.”

“I apply, as a gynecologist and as an obstetrician, on numerous occasions above average amounts of force to the vaginal walls and have never myself caused that to happen,” Dr. Bader testified.

“The amount of bleeding implies to me that one of the bigger blood vessels that lie outside the vagina was disrupted.”

Using a pen, Dr. Bader pointed out parts of a vagina to the jury over a projector and told them the tear Ms. Gladue had caused internal bleeding that extended beyond her ovaries.

Story continues below advertisement

“And can you give us any indication of how painful that would be?” asked Crown prosecutor Julie Snowdon.

“Pain is a tricky thing, because a lot of things modify our perception of pain. But given the length, as well as the depth, I would expect that [injury] to be painful,” Dr. Bader responded.

During cross-examination, Mr. Barton’s lawyer, Dino Bottos, brought up multiple studies on vaginal wall strength, and what can cause them to tear, but Dr. Bader found inconsistencies in some of their results during the trial.

She added studies on vaginal walls and some parts of the female genitalia still need 20 to 30 years of research to fully understand them.

Mr. Bottos then asked about whether there are any similarities between the tear Ms. Gladue suffered and tears women may experience giving birth.

Dr. Bader said Ms. Gladue’s injury was different in both direction and location.

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Bottos asked Dr. Bader about the last time she saw a vaginal injury similar to Ms. Gladue’s to determine what may have caused the woman’s injuries.

“You have seen one example in your career of vaginal tearing similar to Ms. Gladue’s from vaginal fisting, is that correct?” Mr. Bottos asked.

“Correct,” Dr. Bader said.

“So, you would agree with me that that experience, plus the literature, generally includes that women can suffer these kinds of wounds even in consensual situations,” Mr. Bottos asked.

“Yes,” Dr. Bader responded.

After a nearly six-hour line of questioning, which included discussions between Dr. Bader and Mr. Bottos on the anatomy of the female vagina, Justice Stephen Hillier adjourned for the day.

Story continues below advertisement

Justice Hillier asked the obstetrician and gynecologist to return to court next week to complete her testimony.

The trial resumes on Friday.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies